I'd like to quickly mention Le Grazie, a pretty seaside town between La Spezia and Portovenere, in the Gulf of La Spezia. I had travelled through it several times by bus on my way to Portovenere but I never really paid attention. Then one day, we were driving to the Festa della Madonna Bianca in Portovenere. We arrived early afternoon, and by that time all the parking places in Portovenere were full. So we had to turn around and drive all the way back to Le Grazie. Luckily, we found parking there and decided to take a short walk.
It was a nice surprise, a very pleasant, quiet seaside town with a beautiful harbour nestled between green hills: colourful fishing and sailing boats, a small beach, cute little cafes, and a good icecream shop which we tried right away. Le Grazie is really worth a stop on your way to Portovenere, if you are driving or taking the bus from La Spezia.